Knitwear

Tabula Rasa Interviews Style

Tabula Rasa’s Worldly Wool Sweaters for Your Winter Travels

Emily Diamandis founded Tabula Rasa in 2013 on the philosophy of comfort and self-expression. Like adding color to a “blank slate” (the translation from Latin of “tabula rasa”), her pieces encourage women to make their mark with clothing as their palette for expression. Diamandis’s eclectic take on knitwear speaks to this modern Tabula Rasa woman, who is “fun, playful and feminine,” Diamandis says. “She’s always on the move and it’s important that her clothes fit into her lifestyle.” 

Tabula Rasa takes a page straight from Diamandis’s own life as a journey-woman, who makes her home around the globe. “It can’t not be influenced by my personal style,” Diamandis admits of the bohemian aesthetic of her collection. “It’s a part of me.” Inspired by her Bangladeshi heritage, Diamandis’s passion for textiles started at a very young age. She honed her skills practicing centuries-old textile traditions in Nepal, Cambodia and Japan, before making New York City her home base. Her career blossomed from her interests: notably she launched knitwear at rag & bone before going on to consult for Uniqlo and Altuzarra. 

True to its global roots, Tabula Rasa’s Resort 2018 collection is inspired by the pageantry of Flamenco and the opulent textiles of the Mughal Empire. It plays with proportions, fringing and crochet to create one-of-a-kind knitwear unlike any other sweater.

We spoke with Diamandis to learn where she draws her inspiration from and what personal style means to her.

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Loopy Mango DIY hat kit Interviews POP-IN@Nordstrom Style

Give Warmth, Generously: The Gift of Loopy Mango’s Macro-Gauge Knit Kits

Homemade sweaters as gifts tend to evoke the same disdain as a sticky brick of fruitcake. We envision handcrafted knitwear as ill-fitting and scratchy, in musty-colored yarn with multihued crocheted granny squares. But the ladies of Loopy Mango, a couture knitting company, have managed to shed this tired cliché with their trademark megachunky yarns and knitting kits. Dyed in candy pastels and Day-Glo brights, their woolly products yield creations that look like high-fashion cocoons.

Waejong Kim and Anna Pulvermakher, the effervescent duo at the helm of Loopy Mango, merged their love for fashion and art with the DIY movement. Fashion devotees with a fondness for anything one of a kind, they’ve spent time on both coasts, curating eclectic goods for boutiques that combine vintage with new, practical with precious. Their love for needlework eventually led from establishing a small yarn section to a massive yarn line, which has appeared in Vogue and been used by knitting circles around the world. The whimsically large accessories even caught the eye of the late roving fashion photographer Bill Cunningham, a day the Loopy ladies call “a life highlight.”

We spoke with Anna about Loopy Mango’s macro-gauge designs, her favorite TV shows to knit to, their celebrity fans and tips for new knitters who may pick up one of their super-popular knitting kits–the Merino No. 5 for kids is now available in our holiday Pop-In shop.

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ALL POSTS Style

The History of Your Favorite Knits: Fair Isle and Aran

The best part of the impending holiday is the familiarity of it all. Whether it’s the carol you play on repeat or your no-fail cookie recipe, the comforts of the season offer a reassuring warmth.

The same is true for your favorite sweaters. Certain ones stay in rotation—and in fashion—simply because they are easy, relaxed, welcoming to the wearer.

Aran knits were inspired by fisherman in the British Isles

Aran and Fair Isle are two enduring knits. Both originated in the British Isles. The fishing trade inspired the warm wools that soon became a staple of the populations’ wardrobe. Cottage industries sprouted up to supply the sweaters to locals and to supplement unstable or inadequate pay in rural coastal communities.

While the traditionally intricate or ornate patterns of the knits long kept the Industrial Revolution from mass producing them, eventually machinery did catch up. But in the far-flung outer reaches of places like the Dales, Northumberland and the Hebrides, knitters kept the craft alive by making homespun jumpers. The humble beginnings of both sweater styles have only aided their rise to popularity. Today, these two heritage knits enjoy a permanent place in many closets.

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